CHUTNEY singer Neeshan "Hitman" Prabhoo has made it into the semifinals of the 2013 Lotto Plus Chutney Soca Monarch. And so have his two brothers, Navin and Naresh Prabhoo.
The three men, sons of chutney icon Ramrajee Prabhoo, will compete for a place in the grand final round of the competition.
The semifinals will take place tomorrow at The Rise car park, Lange Park, Chaguanas.
Neeshan Prabhoo said, "They are my older brother and my younger brother. I am happy we all got through to the semis. We all grew up in music and it has become part of us. To us this is not about opposing each other, it is about going out there and representing chutney music and our culture," he said in a telephone interview yesterday.
Prabhoo has placed in the finals of the competition several times.
"I can't recall how many times I entered the competition. But I know it was a lot. I didn't enter last year, but I wanted to go in this year because I have a good song. It is a positive song about women. It is talking about the independent lady and about women who are satisfied with their marriage," he said.
Prabhoo said the competition has not created tension in his family. "My brothers have their performance already. I am working on mine. I don't know what they are doing, but it has not affected us. We don't allow these things to come between us. I don't care who wins the title. It is not about competing against my brothers or any other competitor. It is about representing chutney music," he said.
The Prabhoos will be among 45 artistes competing in the semifinals, where 15 singers will be selected to compete in the final on January 26.
Ten female singers are included in the semifinal line-up including Drupatee Ramgoonai, Sara Ali Yankaran, Ambika Yankaran, Hemlata Dindial, Reshma Ramlal, Natalia Wohler, Kavita Maharaj, Sassy Ramoutar, Sally Sagram and Michelle Xavier.
Produced by Southex Promotions, the annual competition is expected to be one of the biggest in the history of the competition.
Manager, George Singh said this year's performers were the best crop of singers since 1985 when the competition started.
"The competition is fierce with some of the biggest names in chutney soca music competing," he said.
Lead vocalist of the Dil-E-Nadan orchestra Raymond Ramnarine and other top seasoned performers such as Anil Bhim, Boodram Holass, Kenneth Salick, Rajin Dhanraj and six-times winner Rikki Jai are in the fray.
Twenty-five year old, Veeshal Kris Persad will defend this title which he won last year with his hit tune "Single Forever".
Other semi-finalists include Jason Ramlal, Jude Nidhan, Ranjeev Ramdeen, Michael Saloum (Soca Elvis), Lalchan Hunter Babwah, Veekash Sahadeo, Oneil Bhajman, Rick Ramoutar, Kerron Tyron Williams (Wakerman), Kareem Noel, Nigel Gobin, Devon Samuel (Prophet Benjamin), Omardath Maharaj, Oscar Benjamin, Chris Garcia, Dave Lall, Brent Evelyn, Leon Coldero, SW Storm, Dolly Boy, Anant Hansraj, Adesh Samaroo, Terry Gajraj and Joey Ramoutar.